The K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

If you are an American citizen engaged to someone from another country and you want them to travel to the United States to marry and reside with you, the first step is to file a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) in the United States. Once United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), approves it, the petition is processed and sent to the consulate or embassy where your fiancé(e) will apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa.

This visa, which is also known as the Fiancé(e) visa, permits a foreign national to enter the United States for 90 days if they are:

  • engaged to be married to a US citizen
  • entering the US specifically for the wedding

Who Can Petition?

To petition, you must demonstrate the following:

  • You are an American citizen
  • You meet a certain income requirement
  • You intend to marry your fiancé(e) within 90 days of his or her arrival in the country
  • Both of you are legally free to marry
  • The marriage is legally permissible according to laws of the state where it will take place

To prove that you really intend to marry, you will probably need to show an engagement ring, proof that the wedding venue has been booked, and other related evidence. You should also be able to prove that you met in person at least once in the last two years, although this requirement may be waived if your cultural customs or financial hardship prevented such a meeting.

After the K-1 Nonimmigrant Visa is Issued

Once your fiancé(e) receives their visa, they must travel to the United States within six months. If the wedding does not take place for any reason within 90 days of their arrival, he or she must leave the country or risk violating immigration law.

After being admitted into the country, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to take employment, although any work permit would be valid for only 90 days after entry. After the marriage, they can apply for an extended work permit at the same time as they file for permanent residence.

You should be aware that, while your new spouse will be able to obtain a green card following your marriage, their permanent residency will be conditional as a safeguard against marriage fraud. The green card will be valid for two years, and 90 days before the two years expires you and your spouse will need to apply to have the conditions removed.

Like most immigration matters, applying for a K-1 visa can be a confusing, complicated, and extended process. To ensure that your future spouse arrives in the country to marry you without incident, contact Sánchez-Roig Law Firm, P.A. today. We will help you correctly navigate the sponsorship process so that you and your fiancé(e) can unite in marriage without immigration difficulties.